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EFCC contradicts self on Oronsaye trial


EFCC_2Prosecution witnesses from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, gave contradictory evidence in the on-going trial of former Head of Service of the Federation, Elder. Stephen Oronsaye, over alleged money laundering, fraud and breach of trust.
The embattled former Head of Service of the Federation and five others are standing trial on an amended 35-count charge bordering on corruption, fraud and money laundering, slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is standing trial with Osarenkhoe Afe, Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment and Construction Company Limited.
However when proceedings resumed yesterday in the trial within trial, two operatives of the EFCC, Mustapha Gadanya and Nurudeen Suleman gave contradictory evidence on the claim.
The trial within trail was ordered  by Justice Gabriel Kolawole to ascertain the claim by the second defendant, Osarenkhoe Afe, that his extra judicial statement was made under duress.
In his testimony, Gadanya, who first testified for EFCC told the court that his team never seized mobile phones, laptops and ipads from Afe.
He admitted that a search warrant was executed in the house of the second defendant in the Jabi Area of Abjua, but, denied the claim by the defendants that the three items were carted away from his house.
Gadanya, who was cross-examined by Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye, counsel to Afe, told Justice Kolawole that the search warrant was executed in 2011 on the house of Afe on the order of a superior officer, based on investigation being conducted in a petition against the defendants.
However, another witness who is also an operative of the EFCC, Nurudeen Suleman, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, admitted that he participated in the execution of the search warrant in the house of the second defendant.
Under cross examination by Aladedoye, the witness told Justice Kolawole that mobile phones, ipad, laptop and a paper envelope containing check books and documents relating to the office of the Head of Service of the Federation were found in the house of the second defendant and carted away to the EFCC office along with the second defendant.
The witness further told the court that the search team comprising four operatives, including an armed mobile policeman, executed the search warrant and reported to their superior officer for further investigation.
Justice Kolawole had ordered a trial within trial into the Oronsaye case following a claim by the second defendant that his extra judicial statement was made to the EFCC operatives under duress.
However, the claim of the second defendant is being disputed by the EFCC which counter claimed that the statement was voluntarily made in the open interrogation hall of the commission.
Meanwhile, further trial has been adjourned till July 7 by Justice Kolawole at the instance of parties in the trial.

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